Nigeria and other West African countries need more investment in Science Technology and Innovation (STI) to drive the industrialisation process in the region, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
Buhari gave this verdict in his address while declaring open the first edition of the African Forum for Research and Innovation (FARI) in Abuja on Monday.
He noted that the theme of the forum: “Science, Technology and Innovation for a more competitive ECOWAS,” was apt, insisting that West African region stands to gain a lot through the utilisation of STI to address the various diseases and catastrophes ravaging the people.
Represented by his Chief Of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, President Buhari also noted that STI is recognised as the driver of Nigeria’s National Development Plan (2021-2025), adding that the utilisation and promotion of innovative applications with other socio- economic development indicators will lead to rapid industrialisation of the region.
He revealed that: “Nigeria has taken steps to ensure that its youthful population is given the appropriate environment to achieve their dreams in innovation by passing legislation that governs and provides level -playing field via the Nigerian Start-up bill, which has been passed by our National Assembly and I look forward to assenting to the landmark piece of legislation as a critical building block for energising our innovation landscape.
“In line with the mandate of scheduled plan of action of the STI for the ECOWAS region, there is need for researchers to acquire modern and state- of- the art equipment and materials thereby strengthening the capacity of the region to serve as a catalyst for regional cooperation and regional integration through policy harmonisation, advocacy, trade liberalisation, trade facilitation in all sectors of the STI ecosystem,” he said.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray earlier in his speech said that STI is essential to competitiveness and is one of the major drivers of economic growth, social welfare and adaptation to the environment. He added that STI is a factor in the modernisation of education systems, agricultural production, predictability of seasons and a potential source of job creation and poverty alleviation.
He said ECOWAS has made commitment to STI through Article 27 of the Charter on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, the Directive (A/DIR.1/06/12) on Science, Technology and Innovation and the Supplementary Act (A/SA.2/06/12) adopting the ECOWAS Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation (ECOPOST).
He however said that the region must bridge the gap between it and the technologically advanced nations of the world by investment.
Touray said “Investing in research and innovation can help to overcome this barrier by providing teachers with high-quality training and encouraging national and regional science and technology research at all levels of the education system. I welcome the creation by ECOWAS of the Research and Innovation Support Programme (PARI), which provides grants of 400,000 USD every year for regional research.”
Also speaking at the Forum, Minister of Science Technology and Innovation, Dr. Adeleke Mamora said the experts’ forum is targeted at improving the region’s scientific and technological research including creating a regular framework for dialogue between all the scientific and innovation actors as well as provision of technological result by researchers which will assist in the process of the industrialisation of the member- states in the region.
The Minister added that: “Our region cannot and must not be left behind, we must leverage science technology and innovation to give our people a new lease of life.
“Member- states of ECOWAS have keyed into the vision 2050 that focuses on the community of people, peaceful, prosperous region and work for inclusive and sustainable development for STI.
“FARI is capable of stimulating innovation in the Africa’s scientific ecosystem towards supporting researchers and young innovative companies within the region. It will provide value addition and competiveness needed for the products from the region.”
On his part, the Director of regional Office and OIC, Abuja regional Office of UNESCO Dr. Dimitri Sanga,, in his goodwill message, said STI are universally recognized as key drivers for poverty eradication and essential components for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He however, said that to make STI work for the society, appropriate STI policy frameworks and collaborative approaches need to be developed and reinforced.
Sanga said: “It is imperative now than ever to use STI for competiveness, strengthening and building regional scientific cooperation amongst scientists, decision/policy makers, private practitioners, industries, health professional and civil society for a multi-dimensional approach.”
“In this regard, UNESCO supports member states efforts to reform and upgrade national STI systems and governance. Ultimately, stronger STI systems will enable African societies to attain greater inclusivity and resilience through enhanced capacity to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union 2063 Development Agenda,” he said.
NNPCL Was Heading Towards Liquidation Before Subsidy Removal, Says Kyari
The Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian National Petroleum Company ( NNPCL), Mele Kyari, has confirmed that the oil firm would have gone into liquidation at the end of June and commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for removing the subsidy.
He also disclosed that there are about 4, 800 illegal connections on over 5,000 kilometres of oil pipelines across the country.
This is even as the company disclosed that as a fully commercial entity now, NNPCL between July and November this year, remitted N406 billion into the Federation Account as dividend.
Kyari, who spoke during an interface with the members of the committee on Appropriations on Friday in Abuja, also spoke on the workability of 1.78 million oil production per day and $77.96 oil price benchmark for the 2024 budget.
Kyari said that the oil component of the budgetary projections are realistic and realisable despite the fact that the country presently produces average of 1.5 million barrels of oil per day.
He said: “As it is today, about 4,800 illegal connections are made on the over 5,000 oil pipelines across the country .
“The illegal connections on oil pipelines in the Niger Delta is so rampant that within 100kilometres of the affected pipelines, 300 insertions are made on them, which eventually made the pipe to be weakend to the point of not being able to hold pressure of oil pumped, let alone, delivering it to targeted destination.
“Additionally , it is abnormal to engage non – state actors to protect critical assets like oil pipeline. We have however responded abnormally and getting results, because unlike as it was in July 2022 when less than 1.2million barrels of oil were produced by day, it has been 1.5million barrels per day within the last two to three months.”
He, however, disclosed when asked if the projected oil production per day, can be jerked up to 1.8million from 1.78million , that the projections and parameters set in the proposed budget, are okay for NNPCL and realisable .
He also informed the committee members that the 1.78million barrels per day oil production for the 2024 budget, include condensate, which are 200,000 to 300,000 barrels per day .
He added that as a fully commercial entity now, NNPCL between July and November this year , remitted N406billion into the Federation Account as dividend.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Solomon Adeola, said Kyari has strengthened their convictions on workability of the assumptions and projections of the 2024 budgetary proposals.
CIN Holds 7th Investiture Ceremony, Annual General Meeting 9th Dec 2023
The Compliance Institute of Nigeria (CIN), Nigeria’s flagship umbrella body for all compliance professionals and practitioners in the country, will expand its membership on Saturday, December 9, 2023, with new members joining the League of Professional Compliance Officers as it holds its seventh Annual Induction ceremony in Lagos.
The physical induction ceremony will take place at Ijewere Hall, Bankers House, 19, Adeola Hopewell, Victoria Island, Lagos. The event will also be virtual broadcast via Zoom.
The Institute’s Annual General Meeting will also take place immediately following the induction ceremony.
The induction ceremony, by the institute, shall admit a new batch of Fellow Compliance Institute, Nigeria (FCIN), Associate Compliance Institute, Nigeria (ACIN), and Designate Compliance Institute, Nigeria Professional (DCP) who have passed its prescribed examinations.
Six eminent personalities within the public and private sectors in West Africa, who have contributed to the growth and development of the compliance ecosystem, will also be honoured with fellowship membership by the Institute, whilst deserving top performers in the examinations will be awarded prizes.
The hybrid event with the Keynote theme ‘‘Compliance in the Digital Era- The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Enabling an Effective Compliance Culture”, will be delivered by the GM & E, Mobile Telecommunications Nigeria, Ibe Kalu Etea as Keynote Speaker, and broadcast digitally to both virtual and physical audiences.
It will be witnessed by compliance professionals across the world including policymakers, regulators, law enforcement officers, and standard setters.
According to the Registrar, Compliance Institute, Nigeria (CIN), Mr. Ini Esau, “433 student members, who have completed the professional certification examinations of the institute in 2023, will be inducted, whilst deserving top performers in the examinations will be awarded prizes. Also expected at the ceremony are corporate titans from different sectors.’’
Compliance Officers and organizations today face an increasingly complex and evolving regulatory landscape, making compliance a critical aspect of business operations. In the digital era, artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging as a transformative force, enabling businesses to achieve a more effective and proactive approach to compliance.
The adoption of AI in compliance has the potential to revolutionize the way organisations manage compliance risks and foster a culture of ethical conduct. By leveraging AI, organisations can significantly enhance their compliance effectiveness, reduce costs, and protect their reputation. With the growth and widespread acceptance of Artificial intelligence, no doubt comes with it, its attendant risk.
This year’s thought-provoking topic, ‘‘Compliance in the Digital Era- The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Enabling an Effective Compliance Culture.’’, seeks to help Compliance professionals stay abreast of the interplay of Artificial intelligence, the associated risks and challenges to the workplace.
Reaffirming the institute’s commitment to this year’s topic, the President, of Compliance Institute, Nigeria, Pattison Boleigha, said: ‘‘The global compliance landscape is constantly evolving owing to several factors, including Artificial Intelligence, the dynamic nature of financial crimes, emerging money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing (ML/TF/PF) threats, advancements in technology, and the ever-changing international standards”
Updating industry stakeholders on the progress made by the institute, the Vice President, of Compliance Institute, Nigeria, Isah Aminu Buhari, said, “The Compliance Institute, Nigeria (CIN) Charter Bill has passed its first reading on the floor of the Senate within a year.
“All necessary steps to ensure that the Bill is passed and signed into law, are being taken. The Bill, when passed will further enhance Nigeria’s efforts to address the deficiencies that led to the ‘Grey Listing’ of Nigeria by the Financial Action Task Force”
The Compliance Institute, Nigeria’s vision is to be acknowledged nationally and globally as the standard-setter for compliance practice within the financial industry in Nigeria, whilst its mission is to maintain and promote regulatory standards for the Industry by facilitating and encouraging professional development and accreditation for its members (individual and Corporate).
The Compliance Institute for Banks and Other Financial Institutions in Nigeria Ltd/GTE, also known as “Compliance Institute, Nigeria” (CIN) was registered on Thursday, 22nd January 2015 and commenced operations in 2017. The Institute was established to encourage, promote, and revive the consciousness of regulatory compliance within and outside the financial industry in the country.
The Institute seeks to create and build a body of professionals and corporate organizations from a range of industries established and recognised for integrity, professionalism, and strict adherence to regulatory and non-regulatory standards in and outside the business environment.
Obi Explains Why Multinationals Are Exiting Nigeria
Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, has bemoaned the loss of another major international corporation after Procter & Gamble announced its withdrawal from Nigeria this week.
Obi lamented in a message posted on his X account that the exits of major global brands such as P&G and GlaxoSmithKline signal dwindling faith in the country’s economic prospects.
“The presence of these iconic companies signifies trust and belief in the medium to long-term socio-economic outlook of the countries where they operate,” Obi explained, adding that “their investments create jobs, spur innovation, and develop local talent.”
“In the face of the absence of the rule of law, and a conducive business environment, it will be difficult to retain such iconic companies and talk more about attracting new ones,” he said.
He noted that P&G, maker of Pampers diapers and Gillette razors, invested heavily in local operations over the past 15 years but is now selling its state-of-the-art Agbara supply chain facility.
According to him, without changes, more flagship companies will follow them out the door.
He also noted that French pharmaceutical titan Sanofi-Aventis, and Norwegian energy leader, Equinor have already divested from the Nigerian market.
The loss of such giants and their contributions to growth, jobs, and technology represents a major blow, he reiterated.
Obi urged swift government action at the federal, state, and local levels to reverse the deterioration of the business environment before even more household brands exit Africa’s largest economy.
“National greatness and development cannot be pursued in an atmosphere that is scaring away strategic international investors,” he emphasised.